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Three Levels of Mindful Healing

Dear Integral Meditators,

What sort of healing potential does mindfulness have to impact your life on a practical level? The article below explores three levels of this.

Yours in the spirit of mindful Healing,


Three Levels of Mindful Healing

The three levels of mindful healing as I often work with it are:

  • healing through awareness,
  • healing with subtle energy
  • and healing through primal awareness

All of them are relatively simple in terms of the technique used, and can be practiced by anyone. The level of effectiveness depends upon the skill of the practitioner which he or she acquires with practice over time.

Healing through awareness
This type of mindful healing is done simply by placing awareness in the area of the body that needs healing. Yesterday on the bus journey to see my daughter perform in the school play I spent about two-thirds of the journey just sitting still, focusing my mind upon the front part of one of my shoulder joints, which is slightly strained due to a sport injury. Occasionally moving the joint and sometimes placing my hand upon it as well I just ‘felt’ deeply into the joint with my mind, relaxing it deeply. After a while I started to feel the joint warm up, and then some gentle shooting pains coming out of it (good healing pain). By the time I got off the bus my shoulder (and body) felt relaxed and energized, and the soreness and stiffness was much reduced.
People without experience of this type of mindful healing may find it difficult to believe the simplicity of it, but once you start to get a bit of experience of it, it is deeply empowering! It also teaches you an ever deepening awareness of what is going on within your body, and the power you have to benefit your ongoing health using the power of your mind!

Healing with subtle energy
With subtle energy healing you become aware of the earth beneath your feet as a bio-energetic energy source, and the sky and stars above you as a similar (but slightly different) source of energy. You can then imagine the energy from the earth rising up through the soles of your feet and up the back of your body to the crown of your head. The ‘sky’ energy comes into the crown and down the front of your body, going all the way to the toes, so you have a circuit of energy rising up the back and going down the front of your body. You can then focus this circulating energy anywhere you want in the body in order to promote healing and wellbeing, also using your hands if you like.
This form of mindful healing is more ‘advanced’ as it requires an awareness of the movement of subtle energy in the body. This awareness will develop quite naturally over time if you practice level one regularly.

Healing with primal awareness
This level is the most ‘advanced’ as it requires a little bit of experience of the deeper, very subtle, formless timeless dimensions of consciousness, but the technique is very simple. You focus on the area of the body that you want to heal, then you recognize that, in the very same space that that part of your body occupies there is a formless timeless dimension of existence from which can be drawn infinite energy and renewal. You then focus your attention on bringing that energy of deeper consciousness ‘out’ into the physical level, where the part of your body that is being healed is.
This third level may sound a little abstract to some of you, but actually it is just a type of healing that you naturally progress to as your meditation practice deepens. If you practice the first level; ‘healing through awareness’, then over time you start to progress toward this third level.
So there you go, three levels of mindful self healing. Just doing level one regularly will make a tremendous difference to your understanding of how to apply mindfulness practically to bring about healing in your body.

Related articles:
Taking Care of Your Nervous System Through Meditation
On Healing and Meditation
Energetic Self-Healing

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

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Appreciating the Past to Liberate the Present

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen to our experience of the present if we learned to have a deeply good relationship with our past, even that part of our past that is wounded and damaged? This is the theme that I explore in the article below.

Yours in the spirit of the healed psyche,



Appreciating the Past to Liberate the Present

I was recently listening to a recording of ocean sounds, although the sound itself was generic, I found that as I listened I was immediately transported back to a tiny volcanic beach that I used to visit as a child in the Philippines called the secret cove. As I listened the memory of this tiny cove with the waves breaking on the black sandy beach came back to me with great clarity and power, even though it is thirty years since I have visited that place.

This is a neutral example of how when we experience something in the present our unconscious mind and memory can almost instantaneously free-associate our present experience with a past memory, and that memory then powerfully influences our present experience.

A negative past-present cycle
At its worst our past memories can keep us locked in cycles of pain, limitation, fear, blindness and so on. If when I was a child I learned the best way to protect myself from emotional wounding was to shut down my emotions, those memories as an adult can keep me emotionally shut down for life. Even though every day opportunities for emotional growth and health present themselves, my past memory and habit immediately shuts down any possibility of a new approach. My experience of the present is a prisoner of my past.

A positive past-present cycle
At best we learn to distinguish our useful and positive past experiences from our un-useful ones. We use our useful experiences to enhance our present experiences and to solve problems.
When we sense that our present circumstances are stimulating a difficult or limiting memory, we can use our self-awareness to be sensitive to that, and use the situation to ‘re-write our script’ so to speak. To take the example of the person who has learned in her past to shut-down emotion to survive, if he has enough self-awareness he may be able to sense the past memory, acknowledge and accept it, but then deliberately act in the present to expand his emotional self by feeling, acting and behaving in a new way.
We can also see how past memories create depth and texture to our present moment experiences, giving them richness and quality. A beach that we see today as an adult can stimulate a rich field of past memory which we can delve into with pleasure and appreciation.

An open ended future

If we can establish an effective past present cycle where we

  • Use useful past experiences to problem solve in the present
  • Use present experiences to move consciously beyond the limitations of our past memories, and
  • Use past memory to enrich and appreciate a present moment experience

Then these are some of the characteristics that we can say make us ‘liberated in the present moment’.
We can also say that such a positive past-present cycle means that our future always looks exiting and creative, even when facing adversity or inertia.

A practice

To begin the journey toward a positive past-present cycle, take a present situation in your life and ask yourself the question ‘How is my past experience of similar situations influencing my present experience in the here and now?’ Focus your attention on this question and see what it starts to bring into the field of your awareness.

  • What from your past memory is useful to solve the present challenges?
  • What from your past is limiting and stunting your present experience?
  • What richness and texture from your memory can you use to bring appreciation and pleasure to what is going on in the present?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website